2011年12月27日 星期二

Tsunami津波 hit northeast Japan - Part 3

In memory of the victims of the Tohoku earthquake and in support of the re-construction, a concert featuring Beethoven's Symphony No 9 was conducted on Dec 16, in Ohunato City Cultural Hall. Ohunato, literally the "big shipping wharf", was one of the areas hardest hit by the tsunami.

The concert was organized by Dr Takasaka Tomonori, Professor Emeritus at Tohoku University and President/Vice Chancellor of Tohoku Bunka Gakuyen University, both in Sendai. He also performed as a cellist in the orchestra.

It was an unforgettable experience for members of the Tohoku Univeristy Symphony Orchestra and the University Choir as well as the participating vocalists from Ohunato and Sendai. The symphony was conducted by Shinozaki Yasuo and the soloists were Umemura Noriko (soprano), Takahashi Mami (mezzo-soprano), Kato Hayato (baritone), Igarashi Osamu (tenor 12/16), and Matsuo Hideki (tenor 12/17).

Many in the audience were moved to tears.

The original announcement issued by Tohoku Bunka Gakuyen University is shown below:

復興支援活動 大船渡第九コンサート

本学園では、東日本大震災からの復興と新生への活動として文化芸術を通した取り組みを進めています。そして、12月に大船渡市民文化会館「リアスホール」にて、市教育委員会の後援を得て、第九の合唱コンサートを開催いたします。このコンサートにはロンドン在住の世界的指揮者 篠崎靖男氏がボランティアとして参加し、また東北大学の交響楽団と混声合唱団、大船渡市と仙台市の有志の方々の協力を得て、本学園大学と専門学校の学生たちが、未来につなぐ歌声を届けます。

大船渡 第九コンサート

主  催 学校法人 東北文化学園大学
後  援 大船渡市教育委員会

開催日時 12月16日(金) 16:00~
場  所 リアスホール(大船渡市民文化会館)


指  揮 篠﨑靖男 東北大学交響楽団
合  唱 東北文化学園混声合唱団 東北大学混声合唱団有志 大船渡市民有志 仙台市民有志
ソリスト 梅村憲子(ソプラノ)高橋真美(メゾソプラノ)加藤隼人(バリトン) 
     五十嵐修(テノール 16日出演)松尾英章(テノール 17日出演)

開催日時 12月17日(土) 16:00~
場  所 東北文化学園キャンパス

2011年12月24日 星期六

2011年12月20日 星期二

Taiwan Beer

This is a common sight in Taiwan: emptied bottles of 台灣啤酒Taiwan Beer. No get-togethers, large or small, are complete without the copious imbibition of this venerable beverage, known forever to the locals as the Bīru [ビール - Japanese for beer] or 麥仔酒 [Ve-a-ju].

The predecessor of 台灣啤酒 is actually the Takasago Beer高砂麥酒:

Malt liquor or beer is indigent to Europe; although it was imported into Japan from America in ca 1870. During the late 19th century (the start of the Meiji period) brewers from Germany arrived, and the oldest Japanese beer brewery company麒麟麥酒株式會社[Kirin Bīru Kabushiki-gaisha] started production in 1907. Kirin, together with Asahi, Suntory, and Sapporo, have dominated Japanese beer market even now.

The consumption of imported beer in Taiwan [from Japan] had increased exponentially during this era, from a mere 893 hectoliter in 1897 to 270,000 hectoliter in 1907. By 1919, it reached 870,000 hectoliter. This rate of growth was unprecedented among all alcoholic beverages. And the reasons were the arrival of beer-drinking Japanese immigrants, the acceptance of beer in Taiwanese culture, plus the WW1 wartime prosperity that had also swept over Taiwan.

In Jan 1919, the chairman of 芳釀株式會社 [incorporated in 1910, started producing sake in 1913 on the same site as the now-defunct 台北酒廠], 安倍幸之助Abe Konosuke founded 高砂麥酒株式會社Takasago Bīru Kabushiki-gaisha with a capital of 2 million yen. The factory was located in 內上埤頭 in Taipei (now the site of JianGuo Brewery建國啤酒場). All equipment was shipped from Hawaii and raw materials from overseas sources. This was also at the beginning of the Great Prohibition in the US, a decline in worldwide beer supply was anticipated.

Initially, the company operated at a loss, accumulating a debt of well over 4 million yen. The marketing strategy was therefore shifted from targeting overseas sales to inland Taiwan consumption. Not unlike the Budweiser Clydesdales, the company sent horse-drawn wagons on advertising tours all over the island. In addition, the chief technician from Kirin Bīru Kabushiki-gaisha was invited to Taiwan to improve the quality of the product. And the sales skyrocketed.

In 1923, Takasago Beer was brewed from malt and hops from Czechoslovakia and Germany. When the Sino-Japanese war broke out in 1937, the company bought wheat from Japan and Manchuria and hops from Poland and Germany. In late 1937, the sources of hops switched to Japan and Korea.

In 1945, after the Chinese takeover of Taiwan, Takasago Beer was re-named Taiwan Beer and stayed so ever since. In 1960, under the direction of German consultants, Taiwan's special premier rice 蓬萊米 was added into the mix [note: the definition of beer is brews that contain 67% malt (thus allowing up to 33% adjuncts including rice, corn, sorghum, potato, starch, and sugar)]. This gives the unique flavor of present-day Taiwan Beer. Needless to say, tastes may change, yet it is still the most enjoyable to those who reached drinking age and sampled Taiwan Beer liberally in the 1960s.

2011年12月15日 星期四

Lost Colony - a new book by Tonio Andrade

Tonio Andrade is associate professor of history at Emory University. He is the author of How Taiwan Became Chinese: Dutch, Spanish, and Han Colonization in the Seventeenth Century.

Easily the best biography of Koxinga in the English language

2011年12月14日 星期三

A Taiwanese internee in Australia

[Dutch East Indies, later Indonesia]

This is a "Report on Internee/POW" of a Taiwanese internee named Oei Eng-Bok, dated 17/2/1942.

Mr Oei was an "Enemy Alien" - the reason for his incarceration.

His DOB was 28/12/1896; Place of Birth: Tairanshu, Taiwan; Occupation: Farmer; Address: Sekar Ngantang Malang [East] Java where he was also captured [on 8/12/1941]; he was imprisoned on 27/1/1942 upon arrival in Australia on board of H.S. Cremer.

Mr Oei was umarried with both parents deceased. He had a brother named Koh(許) Sei Wah back home in Tairanshu tohaki-gun (東伯郡?) santo No 417 in Taiwan. He had black hair, brown eyes, was 5 ft 8 in tall weighing 130 lbs, and identified by a mole on his right eyelid.

The date of his "capture" was Dec 8, 1941 - the very same day when the Netherlands declared war on Japan.

Mr Oei signed his name in Kanji as 黃遠木 and was apparently from Tainan County, the then 台南州.

His fate remains unknown.

2011年12月9日 星期五

The Yoizuki Hell-ship Incident - Part 4

How did the Taiwanese end up in SE Asia with some later sent to concentration camps in Australia and finally repatriated to Taiwan?

This odyssey goes back to 1936 when 台灣拓殖株式會社Taiwan Takushoku Co was created. In fact, the origin of this organization can be traced back to 三五會社SanGo Co founded in 1902.

The 下関条約Shimonoseki Treaty agreed upon by both China and Japan after the first Sino-Japanese war actually stipulated that Hokkien would not be allowed to fall into the hands of foreign powers, that is, except Japan. With this promise from the Qing Court, the Japanese Colonial Gov't in Taiwan began planning for financial/banking operations in this region - in preparation for the SE Asia expansion of the Japan empire.

However, because of the prevailing anti-Japanese sentiment at that time, official operations would meet with popular resistance. A different approach, using the Chinese as figureheads of registered corporations, was therefore adopted. Coincidentally, 林朝棟 who fought in the Sino-French war in Taiwan had received, in part as a reward, the exclusive rights to manufacture camphor in Hokkien but was short on funds. Lin subsequently applied for a loan from the Bank of Taiwan. The Colonial Gov't (during the reign of Governor General 後藤新平), after a number of assessments, authorized 愛久澤直哉Akuzawa Naoya in 1902 to form a joint Chinese-Japanese corporation, the 三五公司, to represent the Japanese interest. The company employed predominantly Taiwanese and Hokkienese and was well-funded by the Colonial Gov't. This was a sizable corporation with activities extending into education, field investigation and surveys, camphor manufacturing, and railroad and waterwork construction. Many of these business activities, especially railroad building was controversial; most eventually proved unprofitable and were closed down. 愛久澤直哉, however, continued on, into the shipping business. Between 1912-24, the company operated shipping routes sailing between Hokkien and SE Asia and also invested heavily in rubber plantations in Singapore. 三五公司 in fact was the prototype for another created later in 1936, the 台灣拓殖株式會社Taiwan Takushoku Co.

Of the three major "national policy" corporations, the Bank of Taiwan, the Taiwan Electric Co, and the Taiwan Takushoko Co, only the first two survived after the Pacific War. The Takushoko Co was ordered to disband by the Allied Forces because of its role as the supplier of the Imperial Japanese military. Between 1936-45, it followed the progress of Japanese military and spawned 1000+ branches, operating from India to the Philippines, and from Hong Kong to Java. The company, in addition to running public utilities in occupied southern China, had also engaged in mining in Indo-China, cotton growing in Thailand, and farm animal raising in Dutch East Indies - among numerous other enterprises. These overseas activities provided the Taiwanese with employment opportunities. In the end, in 1946, its vast land holding and properties back in Taiwan were taken over by 台湾土地銀行the Land Bank of Taiwan [the headquarters building shown on upper left] and the company faded into history. Now, only a few know about the existence of this quasi-official organization.

The Taiwanese internees in Australia, repatriated on board of Hell-ship Yoizuki, were members of this highly skilled group.

Sources in Chinese provided by Fung-yin:

2011年12月7日 星期三

Tamsui Peace Park (TPP) - update 1

Tamsui Peace Park and the Itteki House are both located in the Hobé Gun Fort and Golf Course area off Chung Cheng Road in 油車口 [for NT$15, you can take Bus No 26 from the MRT Station and get off at the Golf Course stop]. A road sign at the entry boulevard points to the two adjacent sites:
[Top: Another sign further up the boulevard and bottom: The Peace Park]
[Bottom, to the right of the walkway, a stone sculpture of praying hands commemorating the Sino-French war dead]
[Top and bottom: The site for future TPP memorials]
[Bottom: The Itteki Memorial House]
[Within the House, top: the entire collection of 水上勉 and bottom: that of 陳舜臣]
Looking from the TPP at Guan-ying Mountain

2011年12月2日 星期五

木下靜涯 Kinoshita Seigai - Part 2

In preserving Danshui's cultural heritage including that from the Japanese colonial era, Tamsui District has created a garden dedicated to the memory of master painter Kinoshita Seigai (located across the street from the sculpture of Dr George Leslie Mackay on Chung Cheng Road):

[Above: the famed tree in front of his house and bottom: Kinoshita's house where he resided for 20 some years before repatriation to Japan in 1946]
[Above and below: contemporary artists from both Japan and Taiwan]
[Above and below: memorial garden. The inscription on the stone is his last words, "好日好日又好日Day after day, another good day"]
Please come and visit

2011年11月21日 星期一

The Yoizuki Hell-ship Incident - Part 3

[Source: NAA - National Archives of Australia, click to enlarge]

Our friend in Australia Sophie pointed us to documents long buried within the NAA. Here is one example, the record of one Taiwanese baby interned in Tatura, Victoria:

地區 (District): Dutch East Indies荷屬東印度 [按note: when the Pacific War broke out, Japanese and Taiwanese residents of DEI were shipped to Australia and interne there太平洋戰爭爆發時,此地一部份日本人及臺灣人被送往澳洲集中營拘禁]

姓名 (Name): SAI Ho Tjioe [原名不詳 Chinese name unknown]

生日 (DOB): 22/7/1942
被俘地 (Place of capture): Tatura, Victoria [按: 位於維多利亞省北部]
出生地 (Place of birth): Tatura
宗教 (Religion): 儒教 (Confucist)

國籍 (Nationality): 原登記為originally "Aust. Born Jap Parents", 刪改為changed to "Formosan"
生母 (Mother): SAI Loei Sian Twe [原名不詳]
生母住址 (Mother's address): Tatura 集中營第四營 (Tatura Camp No 4)

報告 (Report):
特徴 (Characteristics): 黑髪棕眼 [性別不詳] (Black hair brown eyes)
17/8/1942 入營 (Date interned)
6/3/1946 自雪梨港乘宵月艦遣回臺灣 (Repatriated on Yoizuki from Sydney Harbor to Formosa)

Internee SAI Ho Tjioe, the not-even-4-year-old Yoizuki hell-ship passenger, should be 69 years old by now.

2011年11月19日 星期六

Taiwanese POWs in Australia

On Aug 23, 2011, the Cowra Shire Council reported the following:

Taiwanese gather in Cowra to ring Bell of Peace
(source: here):

Over 80 Taiwanese guests and officials travelled to Cowra from Sydney today to take part in a special World Peace Bell Ceremony.

As part of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Centennial Peace Day celebrations, Cowra’s World Peace Bell and Peace Bells around the world were rung in conjunction with the unveiling of the ‘Bell of Peace’ on the island of Kinmen in Taiwan.

In addressing the group, Director General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Ms Frances Chung-Feng Lee, explained that Taiwan has designated 23 August as the Republic of China (Taiwan) Centennial Peace Day in commemoration of the anniversary of the 823 Artillery Bombardment, in which China fired up to 500,000 shells at the island of Kinmen. The two-meter high peace bell, cast out of copper and incorporating artillery shells used in the 1958 battle, is inscribed with the word "peace" in more than 100 languages.

Cowra has the honour of having Australia’s World Peace Bell, an honour that is usually reserved for capital cities. There are currently 21 World Peace Bells and coins to manufacture the bells have been donated by 103 United Nations member countries.

Cowra’s World Peace Bell was presented in 1992 in recognition of the peace and friendships made between the people of Cowra and Japan following the tragic Japanese breakout from Cowra's World War 2 prison camp on 5 August, 1944.

The first World Peace Bell was created by Chiyoji Nakagawa, former Mayor of Uwajima in Shikoku, Japan, during the aftermath of World War 2 and presented as a token of peace to the United Nations. Working on his own, Mr Nakagawa canvassed 65 member countries of the United Nations asking for donations of coins to cast a bell.

In 1982 a World Peace Bell Association was formed with co-operation from ambassadors representing 128 nations. The Association was charged with promoting a world free from the evils of nuclear war, and presenting replica World Peace Bells to the nations of the world. As was the case with the original, replicas are made from the donated coins of United Nations member countries.

Oddly, there was no mention of Taiwanese POWs detained between 1942-1946 within Cowra POW camps by any of the participants. The Taiwanese delegates apparently did not pay any attention let alone respects to their own people drafted to fight in the Pacific War for the Japanese Empire, instead, they commemorated the gun battles in Kinmen that occurred between ROC and PRC forces in 1985, irrelevant to the celebratory theme of World Peace.

In contrast, the breakout of Japanese POWs on Aug 5, 1944 has never been forgotten even with a memorial honoring the Japanese dead [see, for example, here]. To be fair, history has provided preciously little about the Taiwanese POWs if at all. Records only show, for instance, that there were 4 districts within the Cowra camp, Districts A through D. A and C housed Italian POWs captured in N Africa; B, Japanese POWs with low ranks; and D, Taiwanese and Korean POWs, together with high-ranking Japanese officers. It was the plan to relocate about 1,000 Japanese low ranking POWs to Hay, NSW, 400 km to the west, to separate them from their officers that had precipitated the breakout. Since no Taiwanese were reported either having been killed or injured, they probably did not take part in the riot; although the number of them, possibly in the hundreds, remains unknown to the people of Taiwan to this day.

Presumably, during and immediately after the Pacific War, 6,000 Taiwanese POWs were incarcerated in Australia. Some were previous prison sentries guarding British and Australian POWs in Borneo. Around 200 were tried and convicted as war criminals in 1945-6 and served time. In the 1950s, 50 with long sentences were sent back to Japan to serve out their time. A few of these sentries imprisoned in Rabaul did return to Taiwan and their stories told as part of the 2009 best-seller by 龍應台Lung Ying-Tai, the "大江大海一九四九Big River Big Sea—Untold Stories of 1949". Nothing is known as far as the fate of those stranded in Australia, however.

2011年11月16日 星期三

The Yoizuki Hell-ship Incident - Part 2

[Above: Taiwanese families, the "security risks" to Australia]

So who and how many were these Taiwanese internees?

From Rabaul, the Canberra Times reported in the March 15, 1946 edition that "Transfer of 350 Formosan and Korean internees from the Yoizuki to the Jap hospital ship, Hikawa Maru, was completed this morning..."

The origin of the Taiwanese is still unknown, it now appears that they were the surveyors and traders who went with the Japanese migrants to Dutch East Indies in the 1930s. When the war broke out, some of them were somehow selected and sent to Australia camps (by Aug 1945, there were still 18,138 Taiwanese remaining in Dutch Indies). It also turns out that, in the style of the American internment of citizens of Japanese descent, Australia had also imprisoned some 1,000 of its own residents/citizens of the Japanese heritage (including 300 divers and their families who worked in the pearling industry in Broome since the late 19th century). There were 28 prison camps in Australia to also intern (1) POWs; (2) enemy aliens; and (3) in addition to the Japanese described above, German and Italian residents of Australia. The Taiwanese, plus other Japanese civilians relocated from Java and New Caledonia were encamped in Camp No 4, together with German and Austrian POWs, all confined to the 7 concentration camps in Tatura, 17 miles southeast of Sheppartan in northern Victoria.

According to contemporary reports, on March 6, 1946, the Pyrmont Wharf in Sydney Harbor was crowded with 565 Japanese POWs and 400 "Japanese" civilians; among the latter were 100 and 112 Taiwanese women and children, respectively, plus 40 adult men. The number of the Koreans - mentioned in the Canberra Times article - remains unclear. In any case, the Taiwanese internees arrived at 7AM after an overnight train ride from Victoria.

For some inexplicable reason, the men were to be separated from their families. With this, all hell broke loose - families struggled to stay together and women and children wept and cried openly. One already boarded man jumped from the ship in an attempt to re-join his family on the dock and had to be rescued from the sea. The boarding process was temporarily halted but was later resumed on order of an unknown higher authority and further enforced by the Australian military police. In all, 1,005 were packed into the Yoizuki. This chaotic heart-breaking scene and the apparent overcrowding were promptly reported by the press - with comparisons to the infamous hell-ships on which many Australian POWs had suffered and died.

Scenes of Taiwanese families at Pyrmont Wharf, Sydney Harbor

[Above: The 2,700-ton Yoizuki arriving in Sydney Harbor]

[Above: a Taiwanese being forced to board the Yoizuki]

[Above: This young man refused to get on the ship while others embarked under the watchful eyes of the Australian MPs (bottom)]

[Above: Girls weeping and bottom: children receiving milk]

[Above and below: Men, women and children congregating at the Wharf]

Order from Gen MacArthur stipulated that only 948 should be allowed on board and the Australian investigating commission later pointed out that it should have been 800. In all, however, 1,005 went on the ship designed to accommodate 400.

A postscript: The hospital ship Hikawa Maru氷川丸 that the Taiwanese boarded in Rabaul was a converted luxury ocean liner of 11,621 tons. In 1941, it ferried Jewish refugees from Japan to Canada. Immediately after the war, it served as a repatriation ship, and later continued to carry cargo and passengers sailing between Japan and the US until 1960. In 1961, it was re-fitted into a floating museum in Yokohama which was closed in 2006 but re-opened to the public in 2008:

2011年11月13日 星期日

The Yoizuki Hell-ship Incident - Part 1

Quoted below are several 1946 articles in The Canberra Times that chronicled the 宵月Yoizuki Hell-ship Incident, an episode that involved the repatriation of Taiwanese families of about 350 individuals, then interned in Australia together with other POWs.

Apparently the Australian military wanted to cram more than 1,000 individuals onto the 2,700-ton Japanese destroyer Yoizuki when the Taiwanese objected. All Taiwanese by then had become nationals of the Republic of China; nonetheless, the ones in Australia were all treated as Japanese subjects to be kicked out of Australia. The internees and the POWs were promised that if they were to sail from Sydney to Rabaul on Yoizuki, they would be allowed to re-board a larger hospital ship before sailing off again.

In no position to refuse, 1,005 repatriates were forced to embark and suffered through the most deplorable living conditions during the 2,000-mile voyage. The Australian military officials obviously had intended to give the "Japs" the deadly hell-ship treatment as a payback - in fact, one soldier's mother wrote to the newspaper:
"Has "Ex-TX2162" forgotten the way mothers' sons were crowded in prison hell ships during the war, with no room to move or decent food to eat, that he cries out about a little overcrowding on the Yoizuki? My son lost his life through hunger and cruelty. I, for one. can't forget. (Signed) LONELY MOTHER".

To the credit of the Australian press which generated enough public outcry that prompted the civilian gov't to investigate; unfortunately, in the typical time-honored bureaucratic fashion, the blame was put squarely on the repatriating victims for the over-crowding and the unsanitary conditions on board the Yoizuki. The investigating mission even declared that all evacuees appeared happy and healthy with no sicknesses resulting from being on board the destroyer. Case closed.

The Taiwanese eventually arrived home; however, to this day, there has been practically no report on this Yoizuki Hell-ship incident. The evacuees were most likely too overjoyed to have finally come home to voice/file any complaints. Then again, no one in authority in Taiwan or the Central Gov't in Nanjing would have cared; after all, the "Japs" were the enemy and by association, the Taiwanese as well. Less than one year later, the 228 Incident took place which was quickly followed by the reign of the White Terror. And the Yoizuki Hell-ship Incident disappeared from the collective memory.

To preserve a little bit of the history, the Australian reports are quoted in toto and posted here:

The Canberra Times Friday 15 March 1946

The removal of women and children from the Yoizuki and the reduction of the total number of passengers could mean only one thing that the authorities had decided that the ship was overcrowded. This statement was made in a broadcast from Canberra last night by Mr. Alan, Fraser, Labour member for Eden Monaro.

Some lobby speculation attaches to the position of Mr. Fraser, Who, is claimed to have received the displeasure of some of his party colleagues for statements on the Yoizuki incident.

Some Labour members have personally supported Mr. Fraser's stand in the lobbies, claiming that any Labour member is entitled to express his own opinions so long as they are not a contradiction of Labour policy. In his broadcast last night, Mr. Fraser said he believed the original grounds of protest on the Yoizuki incident were justified, but the important point was how this has come about. It would not have come about had there not been public interest and great publicity.

In the debate, Mr. Chifley had quoted with approval General MacArthur's statement that the loading of the Yoizuki was not a matter of Government policy but of administrative action by officials. Mr. Chifley also stated that he knew nothing of the Yoizuki charges until three hours after she had sailed.

"It is astonishing to me," said Mr. Fraser, "that those who allege newspaper falsehood and inaccuracy in this matter, nevertheless have relied solely on newspaper reports to base their criticism of me. Not one has sufficiently doubted the accuracy of the newspapers as to ask me for a copy of what I said.

"While this has become a political issue now, it was not so last Thursday. I accept the reports then published as the honest work of men whom I know personally, men who are newspaper reporters not political correspondents, men who deal in facts not in opinions, and men whose political views are certainly not unfavourable to this Government.

"The war inevitably blunted belief in the value and dignity of individual human life. It is essential to re-sharpen that belief. No greater injury could be done to our democratic society at this stage than to let pass unregarded allegations of inhumanity.

"It is essential also to assert unmistakably the supremacy of civil government over military commands. My responsibility, as a member of the National Parliament, is not abolished because General Sturdee says he is satisfied. A great Labour leader, who has passed from us, impressed on me and other new members that an important part of our duty, as private members was to act as watchdogs for the people on executive action.

"Mr. A. G. Cameron shows failure to understand the duties of a member of Parliament when he says that I must either vote against the Government or repudiate my statement.

"I have a duty, which I will continue to emphasise as a private member, to criticise and, if necessary oppose, the executive action of the Government of which I am a policy supporter. But that is an entirely different thing from voting against such a Government to place in power Mr. Cameron and his colleagues whose policy would bring despair and misery not only to a few Formosans but to hundreds of thousands of Australian men, women and children."

The Canberra Times Thursday 21 March 1946

Loading Exceeded Directions by General MacArthur

The Japanese destroyer Yoizuki was overcrowded and in a filthy condition when it arrived at Rabaul from Sydney.

This was revealed in the Government investigating mission's report tabled in the House of Representatives yesterday by the Prime Minister (Mr. Chifley).

The report, made by Mr. Justice Simpson and Brigadier F. G. Galleghan, stated that the total on board was 1005, plus the crew.

The mission found that if additional family members of the internees and P.O.W.'s were to be embarked when the Yoizuki was at Sydney, an equivalent number of unattached males should have been taken off so that the number would not have exceeded 948 as laid down by General MacArthur.

There were no cases of sickness on the voyage from Sydney to Rabaul, except cases of sea-sickness. The mission received no complaints of any ill-treatment on the voyage, although they especially asked for complaints.

The report added, "Despite the orders from General MacArthur stipulating that 948 passengers embark, the actual number embarked was 1005. We are satisfied that this was brought about by a mistaken view of the military authorities governing the embarking, and was actuated by a humanitarian desire to keep families together and, in so doing, they had overloaded the ship by 57 persons."

It seems to us probable, too, that they were influenced by the fact that any other ship calling at Sydney would have had to include amongst a preponderant Japanese party some 57 Formosans and Koreans, with a grave possibility of trouble on board.

We consider that a mistake was made in this regard but we do not consider that it was a mistake that calls for any disciplinary action against the officers concerned.

The report added, "It is difficult to find words adequate to describe the filthy conditions existing on the Yoizuki. The lavatories did not appear to have been cleaned for some days and the galley was littered with scraps of food in varying stages of decomposition. The quarters of the family groups were clean and some effort had been made to obtain comfort.

"The surrendered personnel did not appear to have made any effort to maintain personal hygiene and the stench from their quarters was overpowering. These conditions were brought about, we feel confident, by the fact that the passengers refused to obey the orders of the ship's captain, and the officers and crew resigned themselves to the conditions.

In this regard, there was a marked distinction between the crew's quarters, which were clean and neat, and the passengers' accommodation, and the conditions were similar as regards space and lay-out."

The mission summed up its' findings as:

1.-The number 948 was agreed to by General MacArthur, such number to include women and children.

2.-The standard of accommodation was equivalent to the standard that the Japanese provided for their own personnel when transported by sea.

3.-The ship was overloaded to the extent of about 57 persons, such overloading was caused by a desire not to separate family groups or to leave in Australia a small number of Formosans.

4.-On this voyage the number should have been limited to 800 or the amount of baggage each person embarked with should have been restricted to hand baggage.

5.-A very considerable proportion, at least half, of the family groups would have chosen to go on with the ship rather than risk delay while awaiting another ship.

6.-There were no complaints of ill-treatment by the Japanese officers or crew and no necessity to put any armed guards on board for the protection for the Formosans and Koreans.

7.-The food was ample.

8.-Tile lavatory accommodation was satisfactory.

9.-The medical equipment and drugs were adequate.

10.-There were four doctors on board, including the Japanese doctor.

11.-Fresh water allowance was sufficient, but no more than sufficient.

12.-The filthy conditions of the ship were caused by the unwillingness of the passengers to collaborate with the crew in the cleaning of the vessel.

Members of the mission considered that a serious mistake had been made in allowing passengers to embark with very large quantities of luggage. They considered that as the ship had been designed to carry 948 passengers, each should have been accompanied only by the same amount of luggage as a soldier would carry. The amount of luggage permitted to be embarked was very great indeed, particularly that taken by family groups.

The report added that when family groups were disembarked at Rabaul, it took two landing barges to carry the luggage to the shore and nine three-ton trucks, packed to capacity, to carry the luggage from the shore to the camp site. In addition, each person carried by hand much personal luggage. It was because of the very large amount of luggage that had been permitted to be embarked that the mission came to the conclusion that not more than 800 should have been carried on this voyage. There was no place to stow surplus luggage on the vessel and the luggage, therefore, had to be stowed in passenger accommodation, resulting in reduced space being available for personnel.

The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Menzies) moved that the report be printed and the debate adjourned.

The Canberra Times Friday 15 March 1946

SYDNEY, Thursday.

The Red Cross representative at Rabaul states that none of the Yoizuki repatriates appeared to be the slightest bit affected by their voyage from Sydney.

None of the stretcher cases put aboard in Sydney was in a serious condition and the expectant mother had not yet given birth to a child

Although Justice Simpson's official report is not yet to hand, it is understood the investigators are satisfied that no deaths occurred on the voyage and that sickness had, in fact, decreased

A special plane bearing the committee of investigation, was forced back to Rabaul to-day because of engine trouble .

It is possible the aircraft will leave for Sydney either late tonight or early to morrow .

The Canberra Times Thursday 14 March 1946


Ship Sailed Brought Back To Pick Up Formosans

RABAUL, Wednesday.

A sensation developed today when it was ascertained that the Japanese hospital ship Hawata Maru [note: this should be Hikawa Maru - see also insert on top left], which had been dispatched to Rabaul to pick up the Formosan men, women and children repatriates who had been disembarked from the destroyer Yoizuki, had left without picking up the repatriates and could not be intercepted.

A naval patrol vessel was sent in pursuit and later brought the ship back

The repatriates were standing by motor transport which was to convey them to the hospital ship when it moved off at 1:20 pm.

The counter-orderlies to the captain of the hospital ship did not come from the army or navy.

The Yoizuki sailed last night for Japan after taking on 147 more male Formosans.

Before its departure, the Investigation Commission spent five hours aboard making a thorough investigation.

The repatriates taken from the destroyer were conveyed by army lorries to a compound and special food was provided by the Red Cross for the mothers and babies.

On the way to the camp the repatriates, saw Formosans and others working on roads, and waved and shouted greetings.

Apparently the only ones who were ill, were those who were hospital cases before they embarked on the ship in Sydney.

On the hospital ship there are five doctor's, three Japs and two Formosans.

A senior Red Cross representative at Rabaul (Mr A Scotford) said he was surprised at the general condition of the Formosans but he was not permitted to inspect the Yoizuki. The Formosans were in good health, happy and also in a clean state.

Guards were placed round the Formosans camp and special passes were necessary to enter it.

Mr Scotford said that one of the men who came off at Rabaul, told him the ship had travelled well and that passengers had a good voyage with only one patch of rough weather.

He added that the destroyer was scarcely built for comfort.

Mr Scotford was told there was no one seriously ill among the men, women and children taken off at Rabaul.

It is expected that Mr Justice Simpson and his colleagues will leave by special plane for Australia tomorrow.

It was stated today that the Hawatu [note: Hikawa] Maru may call at Truk in the Carolines, en route to Formosa.

Justice Simpson and his colleagues refused to make any comment. He said the report will be submitted to the Prime Minister on his return.

Pictures in London Paper

LONDON, Wednesday.

The Daily Mail used two and three-column pictures on its front page of passengers boarding the Jap destroyer in Sydney.

The pictures, which were received by air mail show, firstly a bewildered Formosan mother with a child in her arms and another on her back boarding the "hell-ship" secondly, two Australian military policeman forcing a Japanese prisoner aboard the ship; and, thirdly three Formosan girls weeping.

2011年11月10日 星期四

「波風」→「瀋陽」 The Prize of War

After the Japanese surrender in Aug 1945, what's left of the IJN warships were handed over to 4 victor-nations: USA, USSR, UK, and the Republic of China. A number of them were actually re-commissioned. Thanks to Mr Hirokawa, a complete list, from his Tansui blog, of those served in the ROC Navy is shown here - the first brackets contain the original IJN and the second, the new ROC navy name of the ships - with parts in blue added by Eyedoc:


「波風」→「瀋陽」 As the first example, the history of the transformation of 「波風」→「瀋陽」 is described below:

Destroyer 波風Namikaze [above: 1,234 tons] was built in 1922 at the Maizuru Naval Shipyard (舞鶴海軍工廠). Its duties involved principally the patrol of northern waters of Japan until Dec 1943 when Namikaze was reassigned to escort convoys to French Indochina but returned to the northern waters patrol duty in Mar 1944.

On Aug 21, 1944, Namikaze was torpedoed by USS Seal (SS-183) but survived. It was repaired and rebuilt into a carrier for 回天Kaiten (manned torpedoes - pocket submarines loaded with high explosives) and joined the Combined IJN Fleet. There was no report of the Kaitens' being deployed, however. It was decommissioned on Oct 5, 1945. And on Oct 3, 1947, the ship was turned over to the ROC as a prize of war. It was re-named 瀋陽Shenyang, originally based in Tsingtao, later moved to Taiwan to continue service until 1960, when it was finally scrapped.

「雪風」→「丹陽」 [雪風Yukikaze, below, built in 1940, nicknamed Lucky/Miracle ship because it had fought in 16 major battles in the Pacific War and yet suffered no damages. Detractors, however, pointed out that the ships that she escorted had all been sunk. Renamed 丹陽Danyang and served in the ROC Navy, it carried Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Sek from Shanghai to Taiwan in 1949. It later engaged in a sea battle with 2 PRC cruisers sinking one and damaging the other. It was decommissioned in 1965, dismantled in 1971 with the steering wheel and the rudder returned to Japan as museum pieces.]

「宵月」→「汾陽」 [宵月Yoizuki, below, was built in Jan 1945, too late to join in any battles. In Mar 1946, it arrived in Sydney, Australia to pick up 1,005 Japanese POWs. Among them were 350 Taiwanese internees who refused to crowd into such a tiny ship and demanded a larger one that befitted the new status of citizens of a victor-nation (i.e., the ROC). This was not accommodated and the Hell-ship sailed on to New Guinea where the Taiwanese re-boarded a larger hospital ship before returning home. The ship was handed over to the ROC in Aug 1947 and re-named 汾陽Fenyang. However, because of lack of manpower in restoring and operating the ship, it was sitting idle in Keelung Port and was eventually decommissioned in 1961. When it was scrapped in 1962-3 in Taiwan, veteran shipyard workers discovered pure copper (紫銅) tubing used in the high-pressure steam lines in the engine room and cursed openly in Japanese at wasting such a precious well-crafted young vessel.]

More destroyers:

Sea defense ships[海防艦]
「隠岐」→「長白」 「対馬」→「臨安」 「四阪」→「恵安」 「屋代」→「正安」
「14」→「済南」 「40」→「成安」 「67」→「営口」 「81」→「黄安」 「85」→「新安」
「104」→「泰安」 「107」→「潮安」 「118」→「長沙」 「192」→「同安」
「194」→「威海」 「198」→「吉安」 「205」→「長安」 「215」→「遼海」


Mine layers and special layers[敷設艇及敷特]

Mine sweepers and special sweepers[掃海艇及掃特]


Special duty ship[特務艦][Some in this class were, e.g., ice-breakers]
「白崎」→「武陵」 [A food transport ship]

Interestingly, the handover of IJN warships to the ROC seemed to have been handled by the US, perhaps under the guise of 美援the American aid, or it would have contradicted the post-war lenience policy that the ROC would not seek/demand any war reparation from Japan. This policy [known as the benevolent "以德報怨" policy of Chiang Kai-Sek] and the peaceful repatriation of Japanese citizens from mainland China and elsewhere had earned enormous gratitude that was to be a major factor later in the 1950-60s, in an era of intense diplomatic games played by the KMT, the CCP, and the Japanese. In 1978, Japan PM Fukuda Takeo even attended President Chiang Kai-Sek's funeral much to the displeasure of the CCP.

Other sources indicate that these ships [those within Japanese territories] were divided among the 4 nations in lotteries conducted at the Allied HQ in Tokyo (the first of four was drawn on June 28, 1947), and the officers representing the ROC were Naval Commanders 馬德建 and 姚嶼. In addition, Japan had left behind 2,169 warships of various builds in China. Of which only 192 were deemed usable and more than 1,100 were scrapped.

The ROC in fact did not demand any war compensation in silver taels as was asked of China in the Qing era by foreign powers including Japan. This might have been the core piece of the lenience policy; although the Gov't apparently did participate in dividing up the war spoils and took over abandoned Japanese war materials and public/private properties.

Whatever the reparation process was, the disarmament of Japan was complete by the end of 1947.

2011年10月20日 星期四

March 1946

[Above: 海防艦34号 No 34 Sea Defense Ship]

It is now better understood how the Japanese residents of Danshui were repatriated. A report by Mr Hirokawa today is posted below [source in Japanese: here]:

At this year's Tansui-Kai meeting, members ruminated about the repatriation experience. Some recalled that in March, 1946, they reported to the Governor General's Office [now the Presidential Palace] in Taipei, then took the train [in Taipei Station] to Keelung where the 引き揚げhiki-age ships awaited. Most of them were on board of Liberty ships during this evacuation. After one week at sea, the evacuees arrived in 大竹Otake [about 20 miles southwest of Hiroshima]. The reason for the long one-week journey was to avoid mines in the seas near Japan, the ships must therefore sail along the coastlines of the mainland. These Liberty ships were hastily built in the US during WWII to meet the needs of wartime transportation:

Some were evacuated on board of 海防艦Sea Defense ships [gun boats]. At least one Tansui-Kai member from Miyazaki Prefecture returned from Keelung to Kagoshima on 海防艦34号 (pictured above) - after two nights and three days. He was then temporarily sheltered in 天保山Ten-po-san Elementary School near Hiroshima.

海防艦s were 70 meter long with a 700 tonnage, used in 引き揚げ process up until 1947 when they were handed over to the Soviet Union.

A postscript: One of Eyedoc's cousins remembers traveling from Danshui to Taipei Station to see her best friend 小林玲子 off and has lost contact ever since - until last year. Her friend, a member of Tansui-Kai, turns out to be alive and well now residing near Tokyo.

2011年10月17日 星期一

Tansui-Kai 淡水会 10-18-2011

Tansui-Kai淡水会 2011 will meet at 6PM on Oct 18. The venue will be the Green Hotel 「グリーンホテル」 in Mie Prefecture Mie County Komono-cho Chikusa 「三重県三重郡菰野町千草」.

Tansui-Kai was founded by Kinoshita Seigai木下静涯 and ex-residents of Tansui [Danshui] who were expatriated back to Japan in 1946. They have always remembered their faraway hometown.

For the first time, at this year's meeting, Mayor Tsai's report on the progress of Tamsui will be presented and pamphlets on the many festivities in Oct in Danshui distributed.

We wish the members of Tansui-Kai a wonderful get-together.

2011年9月21日 星期三

Tsunami津波 hit northeast Japan - Part 2

Much has been reported that the coastal areas of Northeast Japan were wiped out by the tsunami on March 11, 2011. And that a few cities including Miyako City 宮古市 have been erased off the map. Here is a report from Eyedoc who has decided to see it for himself:

宮古市, just like Danshui, is also a seaside town sitting next to a river that flows into the ocean. This fishing town is famous for not only fresh catches but also the scallops. It is located 90 km east of 盛岡市Morioka City, the capital of 岩手 Iwate Prefecture. It is a 2-hour bus ride from Morioka Station through the winding roads and tunnels cutting into the foot of the hills. Small patches of rice fields carved out of the sloping shores of a shallow brook abound. The entry into Miyako is far less dramatic than expected. It is simply there, an ordinary, quiet town. Although in its heyday, it was wall-to-wall tourists this time of the year. Below is the Miyako Station area where the last bus stop is with only a few pedestrians in sight:
Seeing no fallen buildings anywhere, the first question is where were all the damages. It turns out the city center has mostly been spared. The front edge of the tsunami mercifully stopped somewhere short of the train station, which was only one km away from the sea. Although along the narrow [main] street, there are still a few houses shuttered and a number of empty lots - the street had served as the conduit to the flood water. The devastation suddenly becomes clear in the bay area where the tidal wave entering the mouth of the river had overcome an entire area of houses and buildings leaving only the foundations behind. Here is one of the few remaining buildings that has sustained extensive damage:
Below: a few houses awaiting demolition and the grassy area is where residential houses used to be:
Traveling on the highway high above the shoreline from Miyako north, on the 浄土ヶ浜 Joto-ga-hama Bridge looking down, one can see a collapsed concrete bridge:
And on the other side of the highway bridge, among the utter destruction, one lone Jinga miraculously survived:
Then onto the 田老Taro area, supposed to be safe behind a 9-m tall levee system, was pretty much all gone leaving only remnants of the four walls of each house. The old Taro neighborhood is no longer:
Along this road, in front of the now disappeared houses, someone placed a few hundred rectangular boxes each packed with blooming flowers, adding color to a dreadful scene. A signal of hope, perhaps. Not too far from this spot, a gas station remains open; the pumps are manned by two gentlemen with the rest of the station in tatters. Resilience, Japanese style, it seems.

In all the flooded areas, all the debris have been removed and backhoes are still hard at work. One would expect an army of construction workers feverishly working on various reconstruction projects. This is, however, not to be, not yet anyway.

Life is of course no longer the same in Miyako. The famed Miyako scallops are now imported from Hokkaido. The fish caught here are not marketable because the rest of Japan suspects that seafood from Miyako has been contaminated with human flesh.

In talking with the residents in Miyako, one gets the impression that they are still quite hopeful in the eventual recovery of their beloved city. How long will it take, no one really knows.

The Kambaro Miyako [or Tohoku, or Morioka] signs are now everywhere urging the citizens to "Let's go!"

Let's hope the slogan shouting soon fades into memory and the area totally re-built.